The Commission has asked Bulgaria to comply with their reporting obligation under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive(MSFD, Directive 2008/56/EC). The aim of the Directive is to protect more effectively the marine environment across Europe. The Directive obliges the Member States to report to the Commission by 15 October 2018, their updates of the initial assessment, of the determination of good environmental status (GES) and of the environmental targets.
The aim of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive is to achieve good environmental status of the EU's marine waters by 2020 and to protect the resource base upon which marine-related economic and social activities depend. It is the first EU legislative instrument related to the protection of all aspects of marine biodiversity (species, habitats, ecosystems), as it contains the explicit regulatory objective that "biological diversity is maintained", as the cornerstone for achieving a good environmental status.
In order to achieve good environmental status, each Member State is required to develop a strategy for its marine waters (or Marine Strategy). In addition, the Marine Strategies must be kept up-to-date and reviewed every 6 years, and reported about to the Commission.
The Commission has asked Bulgaria to ensure compliance with the reporting obligation under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive on several occasions: by sending a letter of formal notice tothe Bulgarianauthorities in March 2019 and a reasoned opinion in October 2019. Given that the non-compliance persists, the Commission has decided to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.
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